Employment Contracts

Get it right : Get it in writing.

 Why is an employment contract necessary?

An Employment Contract is an agreement entered into between an employer and an employee at the time the employee is hired.  It outlines the exact nature of their business relationship – specifically, what compensation the employee will receive in exchange for particular work performed.

Why does an employment contract need to be in writing?

Many small and medium businesses keep things informal with nothing on paper:  a handshake or a pat on the back.  Or they may advise of a promotion or a wage increase via an email – a copy of which is often not found over a period of time. 

It’s a trust thing, and this arrangement may continue to work well for some time – until a workplace dispute arises.

In today’s media savvy work-world, an employee’s rights and entitlements are quickly made clear through a simple Google search, and Managers are often left floundering when confronted by a dissatisfied employee.

Often too, employees assume that workplace legislation places the onus squarely on the employer to provide certain conditions and entitlements when, in fact, legislation also imposes obligations on employees as they go about their work such as following reasonable work directives, and working in a safe manner.

What are the advantages of a written employment contract?

A written employment contract defines the individual job by clearly stating the terms and conditions of the employment.  It also sets out an employee’s workplace obligations, and may include clauses which have real relevance to the on-going viability of the business such as a restraint clause and defining the rights to intellectual property.

 Not only does an employment contract provide a level of protection to the employer, it also provides peace of mind to the employee by clearly stating entitlements and expectations.

It just simply makes good commercial sense

A well-prepared employment contract  lets everyone know where they stand:  a poorly written document, or nothing at all, runs the risk of costly disputes.